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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2011 One Week Challange  ›  Mischief At Morley House - OWC
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  Author    Mischief At Morley House - OWC  (currently 4008 views)
greg
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 1:29am Report to Moderator
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I wanted to like this more, but it just seemed to lack a punch.  Lisbeth being the ghost didn't work for me and the problem is I'm not sure how you could have made it worked.  It just seemed cliche and routine.  I was hoping it would go in another direction but it ultimately went into the one that I guess plays it safe.  I liked the dialogue for the most part.  Tough at times but I liked it.  Margaret is a badass but I would have liked to see more personality and development from her.  Just more of what makes her tick.

So this is well written and it's a solid effort for a week.  I have my qualms about it but nice job.

Greg


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Hugh Hoyland
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 8:39pm Report to Moderator
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This one was well written for sure.

This is also one that I felt more as a straight up ghost story than Gothic, but thats just M/O.

Not a bad job for a week.

Good job on getting it done.


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leitskev
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 10:07pm Report to Moderator
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Hmm. I am surprised the reviews are not more positive here, especially given the relative state of most of the other OWC's. I thought this was generally well done, and I don't think I'm an easy reader to please.

There were a couple of times the southern accent was a little too harsh, which caused me to trip. But overall it was effective. Same with the writing.

Definitely Gothic horror, and a misunderstood ghost. No question this qualifies.

The characters were pretty believable. We don't know all that much about Zona, which is a little bit of a weakness here, but we do care about her, so she does the job as a character.

Nothing really thematic here, and no character arc or development in sight, but things are well enough done I can look past that. I actually only have one problem:

A ghost saving the day by firing a gun? Can you come up with something better after the reveal? That just seems like you couldn't figure out how to have the ghost get her out of the situation.

I might also add that I think Margaret is pretty conniving, so I think her planned murder of Zona would be MUCH more devious. A stocking is not a very reliable way to kill a healthy young slave use to manual labor; and Enoch is a risk to come back. Certainly he knows Margaret is with Zona.

The flashes are fine. Had you written them as a story as suggested, people would have complained it was expository. You can't win. This worked fine.

Spike Lee to direct?

This is in my top ten, though I am not done reading. It actually would be in my top 3, except for the ghost with a gun thing. It still could make my top 5 maybe. Well done!
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Baltis.
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 11:10pm Report to Moderator
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The script is constructed very well --Everything has a decent rhythm here, even the dialogue, I thought, was pretty damn good.  Convincing, really.

There are some technical stuff going on here that I don't use myself anymore, but some still do -- So it's a personal choice.

For instance (Cont'd) after characters speak aren't really relevant anymore.  

The use of your Flashback was, to me, a bit sloppy -- but it's, again, a personal preference.  I'd have just done the initial Flashback within a scene heading like such

INT. MORLEY HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY - 1841 - FLASHBACK

No need to tack up the page and waste space.  But don't use this rule if you're comfortable with your own way of doing it.  The way I've shown you is simply a suggested method given to me by a consultant.

Nothing too crazy new going on in this one.  It's not the worst I've read in this event, but it's lacking in some areas most aren't and that's simply substance.  The story is kind of dead pan to me, it just wasn't super exciting.  But it wasn't bad either.

Great effort, a helluva lot of work to get this kind of story told in such a short amount of time and looking so presentable.

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albinopenguin
Posted: October 21st, 2011, 4:17pm Report to Moderator
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enjoyed the dialogue in this one even though it took me out of the "zone." i felt the same way about the adventures of huckleberry finn. its a nice touch, but i'm forced to read each line aloud in order to get its meaning. so its a double edged sword IMO

overall, i liked this. however it definitely needs some revising. i want to say more but im trying to read as many of these as possible.


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RayW
Posted: October 22nd, 2011, 12:36am Report to Moderator
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Locations & Sets  -   EXT & INT grand Southern mansion w/ Civil War period furnishings, EXT shed
Actors  -  ZONA (16), ADA (50s),  EDMUND MORLEY (45), ZECHARIAH TWEED (55),  MARGARET MORLEY x 2 (20) & (15), ghost,  JESSE (15), LISBETH MORLEY (18 ), extras at hanging x 12, hangman, OLD MAN (70),  ENOCH (20)
Costumes  -  1840s house service uniforms x 3, period suits x 2, Gown x 3, stockings, nightgown
Props  -  tea service & platter, dishes to wash, wealthy table settings x 3, vanity w/ mirror, brushes and combs, slave work clothes for Jesse, peach, pocket knife, lounge, book, oil lamp, gallows build, noose, sack, large suit cases, table w/ drawer, book, large knife, oil lantern, gun cabinet, black powder pistol, carpet to be set afire
Audio FX  -  tea service crashing to floor, slap, glass breaking, CLICK! black-powder pistol fire
Visual FX  -  ghost apparition, ghost hand to pull hair, Lisbeth's bloody chest stabbing w/knife, cracked glass, Lisbeth ghost with pistol, black powder pistol fires, Margaret's chest shot, Lisbeth's ghost recedes, ghost returns, room ablaze
Other  -  lighter, body harness for hanging, horse and carriage w/ driver, big fan for air gust, extension cords or portable generator + fuel, stunt coordinator for hanging and strangulation sequences, MUA for Margaret's missing teeth
Comments -  FWIW, you never wash an iron skillet in the sink. Turn off your program's dialog (CONT'D) feature. I'm unclear as to the point of the parlor conversation scene. A lot of work for a fair result. Mostly a ghost story, though.



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SpecialAgentDaleCooper
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 12:08pm Report to Moderator
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First off, nice and snappy logline - I like. It definitely got me interested in reading.

The screenplay itself was interesting. I didn't see anything glaringly wrong with it. The story didn't really grab me as much as I'd hoped it would, and the character of Zona needed some fleshing out, but overall it's a strong effort.
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Quiou
Posted: October 24th, 2011, 4:21pm Report to Moderator
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I liked your script. I think it was well written, and I think the ending was good. Liked other said, some choice of words might be wrong for this era.
The setting is good. The ghost fits well in the story.
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rdhay
Posted: October 25th, 2011, 6:07pm Report to Moderator
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Yep, so there are things that could be fixed (title, historical accuracy, etc.), but overall I think this is a really good effort. It was an engaging read, so kudos I personally didn't like the southern accent spelled out - I think stating it's a strong southern accent would suffice.

Good job!
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rc1107
Posted: October 27th, 2011, 12:45am Report to Moderator
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One thing's not sitting right with me here:  Is this a comedy?

I ask only because I have a picture of a ghost going around yanking Margaret's hair for the past five years, and I can't help but to laugh.  Man, that would have to be the most annoying ghost in the world.

Otherwise, this is pretty well written.  I'm failing to see why a few people have ventured to call this a torture porn, though.  Yes, there was a scene with boobs in it, but no more than 'Titanic' showed, and I don't think 'TITanic' was ever labeled as a porn.

Okay, so there was the description of 'wet and writhing', too, (which I kind of liked.  Gave me a powerful image in my head), but I still wouldn't label this as a torture porn, either.  The violence I think was standard horror fare.

Zona was a great character.  Would've like to see this story be about her, rather than Margaret.  I would've liked to have seen Zona take Margaret out herself.  The ghost using a gun does put a ridiculous image in my head.

Tweed's character is way too over the top, especially for bringing nothing to the story, and so is his dialect.  You probably should've made his drawl a little more like Zona's and Ada's.  Just a faint accent.  Still a drawl, but a natural one.  You did good not giving a deep drawl to Margaret and Edmund, though.  They're a little more aristocratic, so they'd speak better English.  Good job recognizing that.

Not a bad story, but could've used a little better execution.  You had some good characters in place.  They just needed to be a little more defined, and probably needed a little more attention focused on the likable characters.

- Mark


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